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Open AccessArticle

An Evaluation of Input–Output Value for Sustainability in a Chinese Steel Production System Based on Emergy Analysis

by Fengjiao Ma 1,2, A. Egrinya Eneji 3 and Yanbin Wu 1,2,*
1
School of Management Science and Engineering, Hebei University of Economics and Business, Shijiazhuang 050061, Hebei, China
2
GIS Big Data Platform for Socio-Economy in Hebei, Shijiazhuang 050061, Hebei, China
3
Department of Soil Science, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Calabar, Calabar PMB 1115, Nigeria
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2018, 10(12), 4749; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10124749
Received: 22 October 2018 / Revised: 19 November 2018 / Accepted: 8 December 2018 / Published: 12 December 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Circular Economy, Ethical Funds, and Engineering Projects)
The social investment, natural resource consumption, and pollutant emissions involved in steel production can be evaluated comprehensively using the emergy analysis. We explored the sustainability of the steel production system from four aspects: input index, output index, input–output index, and sustainability index. The results showed that the maximum inputs were the intermediate product/recyclable materials produced within the production line; energy sources were mainly non-renewable and the emergy value of pollutants discharged was rather low. The environmental load rate of the pelletizing and sintering processes were the highest and the proportion of recycled materials for puddling and steel-making were the highest. The emergy investment rate of rolling was the highest; the emergy value of the pollutants discharged in each process was very small, and the emergy yield ratio was highest in the rolling process. Pelletizing, sintering, and steel-making were input consuming processes, but the sustainability index of puddling and rolling processes was sound. The whole process line can be sustainable, considering the useful intermediate and recyclable products. View Full-Text
Keywords: emergy analysis; pollution impact; resource consumption; steel production; sustainable development emergy analysis; pollution impact; resource consumption; steel production; sustainable development
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Ma, F.; Eneji, A.E.; Wu, Y. An Evaluation of Input–Output Value for Sustainability in a Chinese Steel Production System Based on Emergy Analysis. Sustainability 2018, 10, 4749.

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